HOLLYWOOD, CA-The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region publicly pledged its support for “The Holocaust/Genocide Education Act of 2003” at a press conference held at Hollywood High School on Monday, March 25, 2002. Assemblymembers Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) and Mark Wyland (R-Escondido) announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 2003 – a bill aimed at establishing a framework in California to ensure that teachers are better prepared to teach the important lessons of crimes against humanity like the Armenian Genocide.
Other organizations, which are co-sponsoring A.B. 2003, include the B’nai B’rith of Southern California, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, the California Federation of Teachers, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center- Museum of Tolerance.
In a public statement at the press conference, Ardashes Kassakhian, Government Relations Director for the ANCA-WR, reiterated the Armenian American community’s strong support for state legislation that deals with genocide awareness and education.
“The ANCA-WR applauds the foresight of California’s State Legislators in introducing this legislation. In a time when we are witnessing firsthand the horrific impacts of intolerance and hate it is imperative that we take every measure necessary to educate all people about such crimes against humanity both past and present,” added Kassakhian “As long as there are deniers of the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, we need to take steps to counter their corrupt actions.”
Under AB 2003, organizations will receive the assistance they need to raise awareness of these crimes against humanity through the creation of Centers for Excellence. These Centers, which will operate in conjunction with the California State University, will work closely with community based organizations to help coordinate training and education programs for teachers and students.
The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots political organization. The ANCA actively advances a broad range of issues of concern to the Armenian-American community.